August 8 Is National Happiness Happens Day: 5 Ways To Keep Yourself Happy

August 8 Is National Happiness Happens Day: 5 Ways To Keep Yourself Happy

Smile on!
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Feeling the “end of summer” blues? Fear not! Monday, Aug. 8 is National Happiness Happens Day here in the U.S. Not sure how you want to celebrate? Here are some tips to help you stay happy in your day-to-day routine:

1. Keep Yourself Healthy

Exercising is a great way to accomplish this. There’s nothing better than eliminating stress with an intense run and an updated playlist. Keeping yourself moving will not only make you feel happier emotionally, but it will make your body physically feel good. Put down the Doritos, turn off Netflix and get moving. There’s also a million healthy recipes to keep your body feeling energized, and your tastebuds tingling! These tips from BuzzFeed can help you with that. Your bikini-ready body will thank you for it later.

2. Eliminate Toxic People From Your Life

You’ll meet a lot of interesting faces growing up, however, not all of them should be part of your inner circle. Make sure the people that you surround yourself with are people who want to see you happy and successful. If you are noticing that they take more than they give in a friendship or relationship, they probably aren’t worth your time. Check out this list by Lifehack to see who these people might be in your life. Surround yourself with positive energy instead. This can apply to your living space, your extra-curricular activities and your personal relationships. Put yourself in a space that makes you smile!

3. Treat Yourself

Set a goal to do three nice things for yourself every day. Whether it’s taking five minutes to sit back and do nothing, enjoying a special lunch or making time to finish your homework early so that you can watch your favorite movie, it’s totally worth it to give yourself things to look forward to every day. This list from yesandyes.org gave me so many great ideas that fit perfectly into a college schedule and budget.

4. Practice Gratitude

I’m a firm believer that service is good for the soul. Consider volunteering or doing some sort of good deed every so often. If you don't have a lot of spare time to volunteer, take time to think about all the things that you can be grateful for in your life. Think about all of the positive things that you experience every day. Consider the people, places and things in your life that make you smile. This guide to practicing gratitude from happify.com is a great place to start. Practicing this always helps me stay positive!

5. Get Into A Hobby

Give yourself something to do that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Consider an intramural sport or a fitness class if you’re athletic. If you’re artistic, maybe sketching, photography, writing or playing an instrument would work better for you. Give yourself something to look forward to and be proud of. This list from BuzzFeed has some pretty creative ideas for hobbies if you’re a busy bee like me!

Cover Image Credit: UnZippedTV.com

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I Drank Lemon Water For A Week And Here's What Happened

It has already changed my life.

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There are so many health crazes out there now, it's hard to tell what actually works and what doesn't; or more importantly what is healthy and what is making your body worse. I read about simply drinking lemon water and I figured that didn't sound gross or bad for me so I figured I would give it a try. I've been drinking it consistently for a week and a half and I already notice some results.

I've never been a fan of lemon in my water, I always refuse it at restaurants. You definitely have to find your sweet spot in lemon to water ratio, in what tastes good to you. I personally cut the lemon into quarters and use on quarter per day. I put the lemon quarter in the bottle and then continuously fill with water throughout the day. I still get the yummy lemon flavor all day because I do not squeeze the lemon. It took about a bottle or two to get used to the lemon flavor, and now I just crave it.

Lemon water is supposed to speed up your metabolism. Obviously, a week is not long enough to tell if this is fact or fiction but I have noticed a change in appetite. I feel like I do not get hungry as often as I did before. I saw this effect within 24-48 hours of starting the experiment. This seems opposite to a fast metabolism but we'll see.

I definitely feel more hydrated with lemon water. I drink a lot of water anyways, about 80 oz a day but for some reason with the lemon, it makes me feel better. I don't feel as sluggish, I'm not getting hot as easily, and my skin feels amazing. I am slightly skeptical though because the lemon almost makes my tongue dry requiring me to drink more water, so I have upped my intake by about 20oz. I'm unsure if the hydration is due to the extra water, the lemon, or both!

My face is clearing up and feels so much softer too, in only a week! I have not gotten a new pimple since I have started my lemon water kick, may be coincidence but I'm not going to argue with it.

I also feel skinnier as I feel like I'm not holding as much water weight. I only exercise lightly, for the most part, walking around a mile or two a day so we can eliminate exercise factor to the slender feeling.

I have a messy stomach. Everything upsets it, and even though lemons are very acidic, they have not affected me in a negative way at all. It almost seems like the lemon water is helping me digest the difficult foods that my stomach doesn't like. I'm nowhere near a doctor so don't trust my word but it seems to be working for me.

From the effects I've felt so far, it also seems like lemon water may be a great hangover cure! I haven't tried it but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I can't say a negative thing about drinking lemon water so far expect you have to buy the lemons! If you try this for yourself though just make sure you are using an enamel saving mouthwash or toothpaste since lemons aren't so great for your teeth.

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I'm Doing A Semester Abroad And I'm Afraid Of Flying

I was hyperventilating, basically death-gripping my dad's hand, and probably mentally praying...

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I'm afraid of flying. There, I said it. This isn't exactly a convenient fear to have, being that two days from this writing, I'll be flying about seven hours to Portland (Well, five hours to Phoenix, then maybe another two and a half to Portland), and next semester, I'll be flying maybe seven hours to London.

Why is this? It could be my fear of heights, and the fact that 9/11 happened connected to my anxiety adhering strictly to Murphy's Law: Anything can go wrong and it will. Yes, it's mainly irrational, being that strict security exists, but one can't help but worry. I have been on a plane once before and probably embarrassed myself thoroughly to the other passengers. This is the story of my first flight ever.

This was back in 2016 when I was looking at colleges. One of the colleges I applied to was Canisius College, which is in Buffalo, and I wanted to go to their accepted students day to check it out. There were a few problems: It was late February, so there were no long weekends in sight, plus Buffalo is an eight-hour drive from Annapolis.

There was no rational way we were going to drive up, attend the accepted students day on Sunday, then drive back home without me and/or a parental companion being pooped. So, my dad resolved that we were going to fly up on Saturday. I was not pumped. My fear of flying existed prior to the experience, and all the irrational thoughts along with it. Nevertheless, if I wanted to go to the accepted students day, it was the only option.

I should note that a flight from Baltimore to Buffalo is NOTHING compared to my upcoming trips (Maybe 45 minutes), so logically, there was nothing to worry about, and my dad kept reassuring me that. Plus, there was free soda on the plane. Still, that didn't soothe my anxiety. After baggage check, it was maybe about 20 minutes before we actually got on the plane, and that only made things worse.

I would have rather had the band-aid ripped off than have a slow burn. By the time we lined up for the flight, I was on the verge of tears. Then it was another agonizing MAYBE 15 minutes before actually taking off. That time was all a blur... I think I may have crossed myself twice and was shaking and staring straight ahead. Then, finally, after the flight attendant reviewed the safety stuff (Which again reminded me of what could go wrong), the plane FINALLY took off.

I was hyperventilating, basically death-gripping my dad's hand, and probably mentally praying. I bet people were staring, but I was too busy having an anxiety attack to notice anyone looking, or probably pointing and laughing. I calmed down a little bit, although the landing riled me up a bit. And while I didn't have a full-on mental breakdown during the flight home, the fear was still present.

By the time this has been published, I will have been on my trip to Portland, and hopefully taken a step toward conquering my fear in time for my semester abroad.

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